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Unformatted text preview: Because Memphis is a larger, more cosmopolitan city than Jackson, there are slight differences in social behavior which Richard quickly recognizes. He works in an optical company with about twelve whites ranging from Ku Klux Klanners to several Jews and a Catholic and several blacks. The elevator operator, Shorty, a light-skinned black man, comes to represent what Richard fears and dislikes most in the world. Shorty lets himself be kicked and abused by the whites in the building; he makes a big joke of it in order to pick up an extra tip. He makes a farce out of the relationship between blacks and whites, reducing it to comic sadomasochism. Richard feels nothing but contempt for Shorty, who is able to let these things happen only because he has given up hope for change or escape. His intelligence and literacy don't matter to him. Although he hates white people, he will let them step all over him for the most trivial, monetary...
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- Fall '08